Organizers of a new ballot initiative are seeking to keep the Confederate battle emblem on Mississippi’s flag by putting the flag design into the state constitution.

A statewide vote could be more than three years away, and the sponsors of Initiative 54 say Attorney General Jim Hood is mischaracterizing the proposal in a way that could confuse voters.

Every initiative must have a title, or short description of a proposed amendment, before sponsors can circulate petitions to try to get it on the statewide ballot.

Flag amendment sponsors want the title of Initiative 54 to refer to the flag that’s now in use as “the 1894 flag.” It includes the Confederate emblem in the upper left corner.

Instead, a title written by the attorney general’s staff refers to the “current” flag.

Initiative supporter Greg Stewart said in an interview Wednesday that he worries legislators might remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag before an initiative comes up for a vote, so the term “current” flag would no longer be accurate by then.

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